Where and how to find new vocabulary in French


Find new vocabulary in French by reading!

Reading is a very good way to learn new vocabulary in French : new words, verbs, idioms.

Especially since you will not see the word or expression alone, you will see them in a sentence in context. You will learn the word, but also see how to use the word.

The good thing is that you have a lot of choices of resources to read in French : press articles or blog posts, magazines, books.


If you want to learn from formal and specific French vocabulary, the press articles are perfect. I invite you to read this article in which I recommend several sites to follow the news in French.


For more specific vocabulary, I invite you to find blogs that talk about the topics that interest you.

If you want to learn vocabulary about gardening, economics or cars, look for blogs that talk about them. Go to your search engine and type in : blog sur le jardinage

And of course, to learn new vocabulary in French, read books in French. Well, only do it if you like it. There's no point in forcing yourself to read.

I also wrote an article in which I recommend several books in French according to your level.


Find new French vocabulary by listening to songs!

Listening to French songs is a great way to learn new French vocabulary.

And a better way to use French songs to build French vocabulary is to listen to songs while reading the lyrics. You have the pronunciation and the transcription at the same time.

If you are used to using Spotify to listen to music, there is a wonderful feature that allows you to see the lyrics at the same time.

If you want to go even further, sing ! It's perfect for learning vocabulary, sentence structure and working on your pronunciation.


Find new vocabulary in French by watching movies and series in French!

You are probably already doing it and I think it's the best way to learn new vocabulary in French.

I personally do this for English, I only watch videos, series and movies in English and I catch myself using vocabulary or expressions that I have heard.

Watch the series, movies and videos you like. You now have a wide choice on streaming platforms like Netflix or Prime. You also have a lot of French content on YouTube.


How to learn and use new vocabulary in French


First of all, you should know that there is no one way to learn new vocabulary. There are many ways to learn new vocabulary in French..

If you are lost with all these methods, I do not advise you to use them all, but to use the ones that match you the most and those that best fit your learning style.


If you have a visual memory,

French vocabulary lists:

The good old method of the vocabulary list. Often criticized, because it is rather traditional and can seem boring. I recommend it, if you have a visual memory, but I invite you to use it in a particular way.

  1. First, I invite you to write by hand new vocabulary words.
    Be sure to write the word with the accompanying article or preposition.
    For example, if you are learning the new word: tas

    Note the accompanying gender article: un tas
    Un tas can also be used as an adverb: un tas de 
  2. Secondly, I invite you to write a definition in French and the equivalent in your native language or include an illustration if the word has one.
    For example : un tas = plusieurs choses les unes sur les autres
  3. Third, I invite you to write an example how this word is used.
    Par exemple : Mon père a enlevé les feuilles du jardin et a fait un tas près de la porte d’entrée.
  4. Fourth, I invite you to write several sentences with this word that fits your life, that make sense to you.
    For example  :
     J’ai un tas de travail à faire.
    Il y a un tas de feuilles sur mon bureau.

  5. And lately, I invite you to repeat these sentences out loud for several days in a row until you master the new vocabulary word.


Flashcards in French :

Flashcards are also a great way to retain new vocabulary in French if you have a visual memory.

The principle of flashcards is to have a vocabulary word or expression on the front of a sheet of paper and a picture or definition on the back of the same sheet.

There is also the possibility to do it online through applications. I advise you in particular Quizlet which offers a lot of exercises to assimilate French vocabulary. There are already existing lists and you can also create your own lists.


If you have an auditory memory,

French audio vocabulary lists:

I recommend that you create audio vocabulary lists. This will be the same procedure as we had above for visual memories, but in audio. Let me explain:

  1. Instead of writing the new vocabulary words, I invite you to use a website that dictates what you write, like : ReadSpeaker.
    Write the word with its article and/or preposition in ReadSpeaker.

  2. Write an example in a sentence and examples that fit your life.
  3. Record with your phone or computer the audio of ReadSpeaker dictating what you have written.
  4. Listen to your audio several times throughout the day and repeat the words and examples at the same time. Do this for several days until you master the words.


If you have a kinesthetic memory,

Describe your environment:

People with a kinesthetic memory learn in motion, in action. The best way for you to learn new vocabulary is to describe your environment in French and the actions you take.

For example, if you are cooking, you can say: Je cuisine, j’ajoute du sel dans mon plat.

If you get stuck on a word, search for it using WordReference for example, and pick up where you left off.


To remember:

Use multiple resources to discover new vocabulary in French : press and blog articles, books, songs, series, movies and YouTube videos.

When you learn a new word, note the gender of the word and the preposition(s) that accompanies it.

Put the new word in context with several examples that fit your life that you can use in everyday life in French..

To memorize new vocabulary, use methods that match your memory. I even invite you to combine these methods. If you have mainly a visual memory, use mostly the proposed memorization techniques, but the other methods can also be useful and complementary.

The most important thing is to listen to you and be aware of what works for you and what doesn't.


I say see you soon for new adventures, in French of course. 🇫🇷